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National Trust under fire for campsite plans at Blickling Estate

PUBLISHED: 12:08 21 May 2017 | UPDATED: 08:57 22 May 2017

Another view of where the caravan site could be built. Picture: Marian Williams

Another view of where the caravan site could be built. Picture: Marian Williams

Archant

The National Trust is under fire for its proposals to build a campsite on former farmland at the Blickling Estate, near Aylsham.

This is where the caravan site could be built. Picture: Marian Williams This is where the caravan site could be built. Picture: Marian Williams

Nearly 100 residents voiced noisy objections at a meeting of Oulton Parish Council to the proposal to build sites at Middle Farm, Oulton for 120 touring caravans and 40 permanent lodges.

Residents are concerned that it would destroy the character of the area and said the narrow approach roads to the site were “totally unsuitable”.

But the trust and co-applicant, farmer and caravan site proprietor David Attew, said residents had not yet seen the bigger picture, as a formal planning application had not been submitted.

Resident Richard Williams said: “The National Trust appears to be abandoning Lord Lothian’s legacy for protecting all that is best in the Norfolk countryside.

“Overall the sense at the meeting was one of outrage that this attack on the quality of life and landscape character of the special area has come from the most unexpected source – the National Trust.

“By its very charter it is charged with the mission of preserving the character of historic landscapes and places for the nation – forever and for everyone.”

Helen Bailey, general manager of the Blickling Estate, said: “As with any proposal, we are keen to hear from people living locally.

“With this in mind, we were pleased to attend the meeting and have the opportunity to hear the views of our neighbours. We will be meeting with Itteringham Parish Council on Tuesday, May 23.

“Creating opportunities for more people to access and enjoy the countryside and land we care for is at the heart of our plans and we hope our potential future campers will grow to love this beautiful part of Norfolk as much as we do.”

Mr Attew said residents had not seen the bigger picture, and the detailed plans, and added: “It will not lead to traffic jams as there will only be one large unit arriving on site every two hours, between 10am and 6pm, in the busiest month of the year.

“Rather than becoming a blot on the landscape wildlife will benefit, and the local economy will benefit. Locals pubs and eateries will also benefit, and we hope to create 10 full-time jobs in the area.”

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